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Kick-off: go crazy, stay cool

DRESS BRIGHT

Can you watch Ronaldinho or Messi without donning their country colours' Of course not. The price may be a little steep at Rs 2,700, but Adidas is seeing team jerseys of Argentina, Germany, Spain and France fly off the shelves in city stores. Ditto for Nike jerseys of Brazil, Portugal and Holland, priced at Rs 2,495. And the pop picks are consistent with the soccer craze in Calcutta, where Pele and Maradona are equally revered. 'Brazil and Argentina are going neck and neck in sales with Brazil having the slightest edge,' confirms a dealer. The official Adidas ball (Rs 4,500) is another favourite.

SIT RIGHT

The TV set should be at eye level, at a distance of at least five to six feet. Sit upright in straight-backed cushioned chair with head and lumbar support. Sitting at an angle from the TV screen for too long could be a pain in the neck.

That Calcutta is becoming more conscious of the cramp and the cringe is clear from the queries reaching gyms about what to do during World Cup viewing.

'An erect posture should be maintained while sitting for such long hours because if the posture is faulty back trouble is inevitable. Reclining chairs are not advised,' says Divya Himatsingka of Gold's Gym.

LIMBER UP

When your heroes are sweating it out, shouldn't you do your bit to stay in shape' 'Stretches and lower-back exercises are a must to keep fit through the Cup month. Get up at brief intervals and take a short walk; at half-time do some stretching to prevent stiffness,' says Sabyasachi Roy of Addlife, the gym planning to distribute a special-exercise plan among patrons watching the World Cup.

TO SIP...

Dietician Shalini Agarwal prescribes no more than two cups of tea or coffee for a 90-minute match. 'Too much of tea and coffee will mar whatever chances you have of catching some sound sleep,' warns Shalini. Her recommendation: iced-tea flavoured with ginger or fresh lime with soda.

If that isn't your cup of tea, mixologist Irfan Ahmed picks beer as the safest drink to cheer the Cup. 'Or go for Sangria, an ideal summer beverage, red wine flavoured with citrus and fresh juice.' If your team wins, keep tequila shots handy, says Irfan.

... AND BITE

Dietician Shalini Agarwal lists some finger food to keep munching during the matches while keeping those extra calories at bay:

Sprouted bhel (puffed rice, sprouted grams, mint chutney, tamarind chutney, onion, tomato and chaat masala)

Microwave popcorn (low-fat variety, of course)

Home-made potato chips

Home-made burgers.

STAY FIT

Those not accustomed to prolonged sleep deprivation, watch out for the fatigue factor ' lack of energy and concentration at work, and loss of appetite. Doctors also warn regular smokers not to light up too many in front of the TV. We require at least six hours of sleep, they point out. So skip the matches that do not feature your favourites and ration your energy for the big nights.

A light and early dinner is recommended, with plenty of water to drink.

Cardiac patients should be extra careful about going crazy over goals scored ' and missed.

WATCH IT

TV sales ' the LCDs and plasmas ' have doubled at most stores around the city. But a projector and home theatre system combo provides the ultimate Cup view. A projector comes for Rs 75,000, with an 8 ft by 6 ft screen thrown in. Home-theatre systems start as low as Rs 10,000, but the Rs 30,000 range provides the ultimate stadium atmosphere.

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